AFL Finals — Week 1: Crows crush Bombers and I pocket small sum

Yes! The finals have arrived. After a long week at school (that old cliché) I am jumping around my house in celebration. The finals, for me, means momentarily forgetting about your team and concentrating on the best eight teams of the comp.

AFL Round 22: Everyone’s a winner when Saints squeeze past Dees

By Margaret Duncan It is the last match for Melbourne in the 2009 season, a team with the dubious honour of being on the bottom of the league ladder.  St Kilda are on top. But after two losses in the previous two weeks, and after 19 straight wins before that, they are a bit rattled.  [Read more]

Sports Science: Why most speed training drills are a waste of time

By Clint Youlden So what do all these ‘innovative’ sprint-training drills do for a footballer? I emphasise innovative there because the most common form of sprint drills is mostly a series of exercises I can only label as ‘time wasters’, by ‘experts’ who’ve read a few textbooks in the acquisition of speed. A good example [Read more]

Poetry: From the Bounce by Michael Viljoen

From that first cherry plucked when Adam was small To when suburban clan rivalries divided us all Words mêlée and fight as our poets recite The deeds and the lore of football Though others assume this most sacred name As rugby, and gridiron, even soccer may claim Of feats gazed upon in sport’s pantheon From [Read more]

The Pre-Wrap: Finals — Week 1

THE PRE WRAP – WEEK 1 OF SEPTEMBER For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Out at Whinging Hill, The Bombers stood up in the tackle.  Taking sound advice from the Senior Associate at Downright Lie & Procrastinate, Sir Frank Downright, they swallowed their medicine and pleaded guilty as [Read more]

Racing: Preview for Flemington, Randwick, Morphettville and Warracknabeal on 5 September

Mark “Makybe” Freeman writes: The march to the big races in spring continues apace, punters, and it’s a big, fascinating and punting-wise tough card at Headquarters tomorrow. It’s always been a real spring set-up day, Craiglee Stakes day, and there’s quality beasts across the program. I’ll be keeping a watch on Nicastro and Shamoline Warrior [Read more]

AFL Finals — Week 1: If you think Cats are under more pressure than Dogs, you’re kidding yourself

I was sitting at a family dinner on Sunday night, enjoying the lamb shanks but wondering who the Cats would play next week. I had no preference between the Pies and the Bulldogs – if you’re going to go all the way then you have to beat whoever fronts up – and the last update [Read more]

General Footy Writing: All’s fair in love and footy

Ursula, Audrey and Herb were born nine weeks ahead of schedule in May 1997. For quite a few years we didn’t let on to the children the actual order of birth. We thought it might avoid the “I’m older than you” hierarchical claims. After all, that is how Mark Waugh got the nickname “Junior”. However, [Read more]

General Footy Writing: A Father’s Day reflection

By Steve Fahey One of the many things I am grateful to my parents for is my passion for the black and white. Dad’s passion for the Pies was life-long – he was raised in Langridge Street,  Collingwood, upstairs from the fruit shop that my grandparents ran. Collingwood in the early 1930s was a struggling, [Read more]

Footy lunch: Roll up, roll up for Lighthouse Foundation function at the MCG

Poetry: A Barry Crocker of a Year

By Rick Trewavas Screw the game, it’s not the same If your mob’s not out there. It’s the final stanza for all but five, Too late to sell a game alive to the NT, bugger it – it was worth plenty. But at least our B&F Tink is rid of umpies’ mistakes, Ducks and drakes, [Read more]

In the Sheds: Peckett skates through busy life as father and footballer

WHEN this column yesterday rang former St Kilda defender Justin “Frankie” Peckett, he was skateboarding through the streets of Brighton. Peckett, 36, often gets about on his skateboard, especially if he has to commute from the North Melbourne office of Leading Teams, where he works, for an appointment with a corporate big shot in the [Read more]

General Footy Writing: Birdman’s mark ranks as high as any in my mind

By John Kingsmill Late in the third quarter of the Round 22 game between Adelaide and Carlton at Etihad, Brett Burton took what Channel Ten described as the Mark of the Century. Jason Dunstall said: “During the third quarter break, I think we will probably show this mark maybe twenty times. That won’t be enough [Read more]

AFL Round 22: Crows’ win keeps me awake all night

By Anne Fedorowytsch I restlessly woke in the early hours of Sunday morning in my Melbourne hotel room suffering from a case of Crows-induced insomnia. My mind was murky with mesmerising memories from the evening before and now I was wide-awake reliving them over and over. The walkway connecting Melbourne’s grey-city streets to Etihad Stadium [Read more]

AFL Round 22: Bend it like Blighty

Port Adelaide versus North Melbourne 7.10pm, Saturday, August 29 AAMI Stadium I don’t like watching footy on TV.  I feel disengaged, not part of the action.  I can’t smell the air, feel the atmosphere or become emotionally involved with the game.  The screen is too small to capture all the action on our large, oval [Read more]

Haiku Bob – AFL Round 22 – unmistakable stench

twilight game the city’s groan circles the Dome from wing to wing we try to make the ball go forward Dogs on another fast break paint peeling from the rafters leisurely Leon spears a pass to his opponent getting jumpy Wellingham crumbs and goals his own fumble twilight our hopes slowly fade but fade they [Read more]

AFL Round 22: Pies need to go back to the drawing board

By Tony Scully Evening, Floreat Picans, or should I say, Mourning? I went for a long and arduous pushbike ride on Sunday morning. As I struggled into a headwind (I was thinking of the match later in the day to take my mind off the pain) I was swooped by a zealous Magpie. I thought [Read more]

Ireland Correspondent: Kennelly stars in ill-starred final

By Peter Lenaghan There are five minutes to go in the second All-Ireland football semi final. Emily and I are watching the game in a south Dublin bar, but we are distracted by a bowl of hot chips and the rain tumbling down outside. In truth, the game lost our attention a while ago.

Crio’s Question: What is a pass mark for the top four teams?

All real fans get excited when their team reaches September and has genuine claims of raising that cup. (What is it actually?) I’d guess that, although Carlton, Essendon and Brisbane are given no chance of getting through, each would rate their season as a success. Adelaide, now contenders, also will emerge with ticks. But what [Read more]

Gigs’ Stats: Season’s highest score, flag omens and much, much more

Andrew Gigacz’s Round 22 Stat. Declaration A PLEASIN’ SEASON FOR MORE THAN ONE REASON Everyone knows who won and we know who’s playing who and where and when next week, so let’s get straight down to the stats that really don’t matter: